As a result, my friend has decided that there is no
longer a viable market for recordings of experimental art music and
therefore has decided to suspend operations.
** sorry to hear this. now is the time when people like your friend are MOST needed. of course, losing your shirt over this sort of thing isn't the best idea either.
I realize that public arts funding took a big hit from Jesse Helms
and his barbarian horde, and I've been off the circuit myself for
more than ten years, but it comes as a surprise to me that a small,
high quality record label should suffer such a decline. What's your
experience, and why do you think this is happening? Is this
collateral damage from the overall dumbing down of American culture,
or is it a case of a finite listening audience being spread thinner
by an increase in do-it-yourself electronic music and the
availability of downloadable music.
** i believe that helms and his ilk are only the latest and most obvious exampls of the de-funding of american culture. far more insidious was the defunding of school music programs (etc.). to my mind that, more than anything, has hastened the dumbing down of the culture. (as a tangent, i think it funny that the music that came out of no pubilc education in musical instruments - - rap - - is driving thses folks crazy; and i do think that rap is one response to no music ed, kids didn't learn instruments and were creative . . . and they came up with creating with non-traditional means.)
i don't personally think that the audience is necessarily thinned, unless you mean that the people who were buying stuff got older and more conservative. maybe their children will be the next wave of people with more interesting taste (?). i say this based on the idea that you had major label deals for people like anthony braxton in the 70s. in my opinion, downloadable music by itself wouldn't cut down on the desire for more adventurous music, in fact many people here think that it would increase the market for it. i'm not wholly convinced of this last, however.